Halsy Knox, a professional dirt bike racer, runs into Little Fauss, an amateur racer, after a race held near Phoenix, Arizona. They strike up a friendship as Fauss is attracted to Halsy’s carefree lifestyle. However, Fauss’s father regards Halsy as a bad influence on his son and refuses to help Halsy when his truck breaks down. When Halsy arrives later at the motorcycle repair shop where Fauss is employed, he tricks the admiring Fauss into repairing his motorcycle for free.
When Fauss breaks his leg in a desert race, Halsy, who has been barred from racing due to drinking at the track, proposes that they form a partnership in which Halsy would race under Fauss’s name with Fauss serving as the mechanic. Fauss joins Halsy on the motorcycle racing circuit despite his parents’ disapproval. Fauss is constantly confronted with his inferiority to Halsy, both on and off the racetrack. Their partnership is finally broken when Rita Nebraska, a drop-out from a wealthy background, arrives at the racetrack and immediately attaches herself to Halsy, despite the attention Fauss pays her. Fauss returns home to his parents to find his father has died. Several months later, Halsy visits him and attempts to ditch Rita, who is now pregnant. Fauss, however, refuses to take her. He informs Halsy that he plans to reenter the racing circuit. The two men race against each other a short time later at the Sears Point International Raceway. Halsy’s motorcycle breaks down. As he leaves the track, he hears the announcement that Fauss has taken the lead. The story is human variation on the children’s fable of the plodding turtle beating the swift,but cockyrabbit in a race due to character, not talent.
In addition to the above Plot summary, at the Sears Point meeting Fauss tells Halsy that he has been drafted. The difference between these two characters is further defined.